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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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people tend to assume a correlation between violence and poverty, he notes, is that poor neighborhoods and poor countries both have high proportions of young people. Moller provides many historical examples to bolster his argument. He notes that during the early part of the 16th century in Germany large cohorts (age groups) of young adults coincided with the rise of the Lutheran Reformation and the Peasants War of 1524-25. In the late 18th century, 40 percent of the French population was between the ages of 20 and 40, and only 24 percent was over 40 years of age. Because of the economic hardships that prevailed between 1785 and 1794, the many underemployed young people formed an explosive population group, contributing to the revolutionary unrest within France and also to the military ventures of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Similarly, Italy experienced a rise in the number of young adults at the time that Mazzini was organizing the "Young Italy" movement.*
By the latter part of the 19th century, the proportion of young people was declining in western Europe, but at the same time their number was increasing in eastern Europe, the Balkans, and in Russia, all areas of revolutionary change in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 20-to-45 age group had declined in Germany in the early part of the 20th century with a diminution in births, but the proportion of young adults began to rise sharply in the late 1920's as a result of a natural increase some 20 to 30 years earlier. Thus the Depression hit Germany at the worst possible time—when the age group from 20 to 45 was the largest in modern German history. It was only after Hitler came to power that the proportion of youths began to taper off.
Moller further notes that the violence of American youth in the 1960's has taken place at a time when the postwar babies have entered late adolescence and college age. Moreover, postwar fertility rates rose somewhat more rapidly for Negroes than for the white population, and the increase in the young Negro population has been pronounced in the cities of the North, areas of social turbulence and violence throughout the 1960's.
The proportions of young adults in the populations of the developing areas today are higher than those typically experienced by the European countries or the United States in the 18th or 19th centuries. In France, for example, the age group 15 to 29 was 65 percent of the 30-years-and-over group in 1776, and down to 48 percent in 1900. In Sweden, the highest was 69 percent in the middle of the 19th century, and in Great Britain it reached 77 percent in the 1840's. But in Ceylon today, it is 79 percent, in Brazil 85 percent, in Ghana 85 percent, in Tanzania 93 percent, and in the Philippines
*For an important statement on the analysis of the social role of cohorts, see (33). For an analysis of the effects of a youthful population on economic development, using Indonesia as a case study, see (34).